Friday, October 26, 2012

New UK Minister’s First Official Visit to the BVI

Mark Simmonds, the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, who was appointed at his post in September 2012, has chosen the British Virgin Islands as the place for his first visit. During his visit on October 22-24, he had joint press conference with BVI Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith and Governor Boyd McCleary, where he talked about some aspects of the UK Government’s views about the Virgin Islands.

Mr. Mark Simmonds stated that during meetings with the BVI Premier and his colleagues he discussed such matters as good governance, financial management and economic planning in keeping with the White Paper issued by the British Government. He said: "I have had some extremely good discussions with the Premier and his Ministers and others in my short time here in the BVI. I have been impressed by the progress that is being made in responsible and prudent financial management in the fact that the Financial Management Act has been passed and the procurement processes are now in tune with international standards and that is a sign of a very progressive and determined Government."

Mr. Simmonds also had a private conversation with the Opposition Leader Hon. Ralph T. O´Neal. The Opposition continues to talk about the restrictive nature of the protocols, and about the need for their renegotiation. However, Mr. Simmonds considers the protocols are right, and should not be renegotiated.

After visiting the British Virgin Islands, the UK Minister departed for Anguilla.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BVI Corporate Law Updated by Amendments and Regulations

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission announced that the BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2012 and associated BVI Business Companies Regulations 2012 came into force on 15 October 2012, amending the original BVI Business Companies Act, 2004. Both the Act and the Regulations actually are the first significant update to the corporate law regime of the British Virgin Islands since 2006, and introduce a number of measures aimed at streamlining, clarifying and improving the administration of BVI Business Companies.

The BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2012 includes 85 new and amended provisions which clarify certain issues within the Act, and codify some existing practices. Some of the key changes that have been made affect such important issues as company names, share class conversion and bearer shares, Notice of Amendment, the Registrar of Companies, registered agents and registration procedure, voluntary liquidation and dissolution, fees, and security interests of the companies. All the changes are beneficial to the BVI regime and aimed to increase its attractiveness as one of the leading offshore jurisdictions worldwide. 

BVI Business Companies Regulations, 2012 have been developed to complement the implementation of some of the provisions of the Act. The Regulations have a total of 29 new provisions and three new Schedules.

The BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2012 and BVI Business Companies Regulations 2012 can be found on Commission’s website at

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Air Service Launched in BVI

On October 8, it was announced by USVI-based carrier Seaborne Airlines and the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board in collaboration with the BVI Airport Authority about the start of daily round-trip flights between San Juan’s international airport in Puerto Rico and Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, serving the British Virgin Islands. Flights are to be commenced in two months, on December 8, 2012. It was also stated that by April 2013 Seaborne plans to operate 49 weekly round-trip flights in the BVI.

On December 8, the carrier based in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, is going to start new service from San Juan to Virgin Gorda. Seaborne will also introduce special promotional fares for BVI residents travelling to San Juan. BVI travellers will have access to Seaborne’s premium lounge at San Juan's Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.

By words of Gary Foss, the president of Seaborne Airlines, this first scheduled service to the British Virgin Islands from their connecting complex in Puerto Rico will allow customers from United States and Canada easy connection to the BVI territory.